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Every pregnant patient needs to know what is labour, the type of pains and their character so as to understand the whole process which makes her mentally prepared to take the uphill task ahead.
There are various pains seen during “normal pregnancy” which the lady should know and thus differentiate between each one of them.
- Braxton Hicks contractions: These can occur any time after the middle of your pregnancy (or not at all). These are random contractions which occur on few days and sometimes not at all for several days. There is just tightening of abdomen and no perineal pressure or discharge from vagina.
- False labor pains:These contractions are irregular and usually stop by themselves at random. They are usually observed after completion of 8 months of pregnancy and the intensity and frequency of pains vary without any definite pattern. At times these are related to constipation so are relieved with passage of motion.
- True labor pains: generally seen in last month of pregnancy in 80-85% of cases but can occur anytime in pregnancy. Every pregnant lady should know about the signs of true pains so as to rush to the hospital as soon as possible. You’ll know you’re experiencing the contractions of real labor when :
- Intensity and duration of pains increase periodically and are accompanied by perineal pressure
- Show – bloody discharge like a mucous plug is passed many a times.
- There can be accompanying rupture of membranes (commonly referred to as your “water bag breaking”) experienced as a sudden gush of watery fluid from vagina causing soakage of underclothes.
You need to visit your doctor with all the necessary consumables as soon as possible.
You might be in early stage of labour and thus it may take another 12-24 hours after admission in hospital for delivery to occur.
During labour it is of paramount importance to maintain your calm.
Your doctor will assess you periodically by checking your pulse rate, blood pressure, contractions of uterus and repeated vaginal evaluation to assess for opening of mouth of uterus and descent of head of baby.
In a few patients there can be a need to do a cesarean delivery because of inability of the baby’s head to descend or because of some problems with heart rate of the baby as per the assessment of the doctor.
Cesarean delivery is also very safe these days with best possible comfort to the patient.
All in all a normal delivery is a team effort which is one of the most divine phenomenon bringing a new life and a new hope.